There are many branches of Jews. I was brought up with the Jewish holidays, but with a strong agnostic twist. Certainly, in our religious upbringing (non-religious) tho I can still say the Matzo Prayer in Hebrew…
On holy Jewish holidays, we wanted to go out and play in jeans and tee shirts. My father explained that that would be offensive to the neighbors.
So we dressed up too on the High Holy Day(s). We fasted. Thought about our sins. Etc. Etc.
One thing that never did come up, was heaven and/or hell. To this day, I’m not sure if Jews believe in heaven / hell / Satan and the rest of the crew.
It seems to me that most of the Jews that I know and have grown up with, and I have known some truly orthodox people who have explained that to really understand the meaning of these stories, you must see them as stories.
The purpose of a parable isn’t to tell a true story, it’s to try and teach something that will be ethically, or tactically useful.
We played Woody Guthrie songs; and were Dylan fans from the first album on.
“But now we got weapons
Of chemical dust
If fire them, we’re forced to
Then fire, them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side”
With God on Our Side. This song is not so much prophecy as a prayer that would be part of my Personal Holiday. No not Festivus. I would have the reading of poems. And the singing of songs.
Tom Joad was a hero. When I saw this poster in a high-end barber shop on the Upper East Side, I just stepped in and asked if the owner if he’d mind me taking a picture of Tom Joad. He broke into a big grin – and said the poster had been up for several years, from before they upgraded the shop, and nobody had said anything about it being out of place. He was happy that I saw the irony of the poster in a shop where it cost a fortune to get your hair cut.